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Should I go overseas or stay in the states?

 
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jobe3x



Joined: 28 Feb 2003
Posts: 45

PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2003 7:26 pm    Post subject: Should I go overseas or stay in the states? Reply with quote

I'm just right now starting to embark on a post graduation teaching program here in the states. I'm be certified to teach english in a year. Right now I'm debating whether to go overseas to teach in china, taiwan, or japan or stay in the states. I love to travel as well as teach. I feel like there's really nothing holding me back in the states. So here my short list of questions:

1) Could I make a career out of this? Are you guys worried about no benefits or retirement?

2) Pros and Cons?

3) What is work enviroment like? How many hours do you usually spend working?

4) Are any considering going back to states? If so, why?
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2003 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent questions. Nice to see someone planning ahead for once.

Quote:
1) Could I make a career out of this? Are you guys worried about no benefits or retirement?


Been in Japan 5 years. I'm not planning on being here (Japan) forever, but it just might happen. So, I for one am thinking about what I can do to continue supporting myself, wife and child. Concerned right now, not worried.

Quote:
2) Pros and Cons?


Of what? If you want a list of pluses and minuses of living in Japan, send me an email. If you want some description of working at eikaiwas, do the same.

Quote:
3) What is work enviroment like? How many hours do you usually spend working?


This depends on what kind of job you have. University? High school (private or public)? Kindergarten? Elementary school? Eikaiwa? Business school? Private lessons? As the most general answer to this very general question, figure on 25 contact hours a week for eikaiwas, and about 10-15 classes a week for high/elementary schools, and about 6-8 classes a week for universities. Those are classroom times, so you will also probably need prep time. Privates involve a lot of travel time, in addition to the teaching, and this wears one out. In HS, expect to attend tons of meetings, as well, all in Japanese, and expect to take part in endless practice periods of extracurricular activities even on weekends. (I know there are exceptions, but this is a general rule of thumb.)

Quote:
4) Are any considering going back to states? If so, why?


Forgive me, but teachers overseas come from more countries than just the good ol' USA. Be prepared for people to slam you on this if you inadvertently bring it up often. As for going back "home", well, that depends on the individual. I think you'll find some are in for the long haul (probably the minority), some are here for a year or 2 (probably the majority, working in one place), and others drift.
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Roger



Joined: 19 Jan 2003
Posts: 9138

PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2003 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, it is brilliant that someone asks the right questions before hopping on an airplane. But...

What motivates you to move out of the US of A? I find this the most annoying question, really! Annoying because no one wants to say they are tired of living in a Western country. Or that they are civilisation-fatigued. Or what have you!
You need to do a soulsearch.
Because if you run away from some psychological problem you are going to be a nuisance elsewhere.
And, why has it got to be TESL or TEFL?
Is it because this is presented in the US of A as THE way of touring the world without investing your own funds?
That is one of the most selfish reasons, from my point of view!
You should never dream of making OTHERS pay for your holidays in a dream destination of your own fancy!

But I do not want to put you off. You might be my next colleague...

Before you come to Asia, learn the ropes of your new trade back honme so you have acquired some reference points and can compare!
Learn a second and a third language, so you know what your students are in for... And also you perfect your own English while learning other tongues.

DOn't believe teaching is nothing but plain sailing!
For every hour you stand in front of a class you have to put in another one to two hours (at the begiinning anyway) of careful planning, studying and anticipating your students' reactions! In class, you must be on top of things that often tend to be dictated by your students. It's a multitask job, and it requires multitalents to have the upper hand.
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